Nigerians Cautioned by EFCC of Crypto Investments Risks

Nigerians Cautioned by EFCC of Crypto Investments Risks

EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) has joined the group of bodies asking Nigerians to wary of cryptocurrency investments due to its high risk. The regulator recently released a public statement arguing that cryptocurrency investment is a highly risky investment due to its non-regulation and fraud is likely.

Proliferation of Scams

According to a report that quotes Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesperson, the law enforcement agency is alarmed by “the rate at which Nigerians sent them petitions on fraudulent investments.” Meanwhile, the spokesperson also bemoans the fact crypto scams continue to proliferate “despite enforcement and public enlightenment interventions by the commission and other stakeholders.”

However, Uwujaren still urges the Nigerian investing public to be more careful when making investment decisions. He said:

While EFCC will continue to investigate and prosecute persons complicit in fraudulent investment schemes, it is incumbent on the investing public to be circumspect in their investment decisions.

EFCC Regulatory Pushback

Meanwhile, with this warning, the EFCC joins the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in publicly discouraging Nigerians from dealing or trading in cryptocurrencies. In his warning earlier in the year, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor went as far as to state that cryptocurrencies have no place in Nigeria’s monetary system. He also said crypto transactions should “not be carried out through the Nigerian banking system.”

Similarly, some members of Nigeria’s State State have attacked the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. One Senator, Sani Musa claimed that “bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless.”

However, despite the increasing warnings and adverse comments by regulatory bodies, cryptocurrency use continues to grow in Nigeria. For instance, Bitcoin.com News reported recently that Nigeria’s peer-to-peer bitcoin traded volumes had increased in Q1 of 2021. The volumes increase occurred despite a February 6 CBN directive that cut off cryptocurrency traders from the country’s banking system.

It remains to be seen if the EFCC’s warning is going to change the public’s view of cryptocurrencies.

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